Cobras win thrilling semi

2009-02-19 00:00

In an unprecedented climax to a thrilling Pro20 series, both of last night's semi-finals finished in ties and went to a "super over", with the Cobras and the Eagles going through to Saturday's decider at Newlands.

At Kingsmead, the Dolphins had looked dead and buried, requiring 17 off the final over to secure victory.

After collecting 10 of the first five balls, the Dolphins' only hope was a tie as they needed seven off the last ball to win.

Not for the first time in this competition, Johan Louw did the impossible and hit a Vernon Philander delivery high into the stands to keep the Dolphins' Champions League hopes alive.

The super over, though, turned out to be an almighty anti-climax as Sanath Jayasuriya contrived to get himself bowled off the first ball, thus putting his team under pressure.

Daryn Smit and Johan Louw scrambled three singles, but it was never going to be enough.

The match had started brilliantly for the home side, with Jayasuriya opening the bowling and enticing the dangerous Herschelle Gibbs out of his crease, and Smit did the rest behind the stumps.

Graeme Smith (34) and JP Duminy (63 not out) steadied the ship, but it was a gem of a cameo from Justin Ontong that lifted the tempo.

His 44 off 32 saw him add 73 with Duminy as the Cobras ended on a competitive 148 for four.

The Dolphins could not have made a worse start, with HD Ackerman (0) falling victim to a superb, one-handed pluck by Claude Henderson before Jayasuriya was trapped plumb in front by Charl Langeveldt's swing.

The Sri Lankan star was feted as the Dolphins' trump card, but he has fallen woefully short of repaying his substantial signing fee.

His ambitious stroke in the Super Over, where he had a final shot at being the hero, sealed a South African stint that promised plenty, but hardly delivered.

At 10 for three, the home side were well behind the eight ball. It took a responsible 35 form Hashim Amla, ably supported by Jon Kent's enterprising 32. But the two fell off successive Henderson balls, handing the initiative straight back to Smith's men.

Louw and Smit added 39 to keep the crowd interested, before Louw again turned on the magic in the final over.

The meek surrender in the Super Over is what the crowd will remember, though, as the Dolphins never got anywhere near testing Smith and Gibbs.

Even when Jayasuriya ran out Smith off the first ball of the Super Over, the writing was on the wall.

It was then left to Gibbs to secure a home final, and a shot at the riches that lie in wait in India this September.

For the Dolphins, that feeling of what could have been will be a particularly bitter pill to swallow this morning.

Scoreboard

Cobras' innings

G.Smith b Smit 34

H.Gibbs st Smit b Jayasuriya 1

JP Duminy not out 53

J.Ontong b Thomas 44

R.Kleinveldt c Jayasuriya b Thomas 14

V.Philander not out 1

Extras 1

Total 148

Fall of wickets: 5-1,55-2,128-3,144-4

Bowling: Abdulla 4-0-24-0,Jayasuriya 2-0-17-1(1w), Friend 4-0-32-0,Louw 4-0-43-0,Smit 3-0-18-1, Thomas 3-0-14-2

Dolphins' innings

S.Jayasuriya lbw Langeveldt 1

HD Ackerman c Henderson b Kleinveldt 0

H.Amla c Duminy b Henderson 35

G.Rowley b Langeveldt 2

J.Kent st Puttick b Henderson 32

J.Louw not out 48

A.Amla st Puttick b Henderson 3

D.Smit b Langeveldt 13

Q.Friend b Langeveldt 3

A.Thomas not out 1

Extras 10

Total 148

Fall of wickets: 0-1,7-1,11-3,76-4,76-5,89-6, 128-7,132-8

Bowling: Kleinveldt 3-1-13-1,Langeveldt 4-0-20-4(2w), Telemachus 3-0-22-0,Henderson 4-0-23-3, Ontong 2-0-20-0 (1nb),Philander 3-0-34-0, Duminy 1-0-11-0(1w)

Result: Match tied

Cobras go through after winning bowl-out.

Sapa

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